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    » 08/09/2012, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    Moscow plans to prevent foreigners from creating religious organisations

    Nina Achmatova

    Justice Ministry posted online draft amendments to the law "On the freedom of conscience." Experts believe changes would ban so-called alternative religions.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Russian Justice Ministry has posted on its website draft amendments to the law, "On the freedom of conscience and religious organisations," whereby foreigners or stateless people whose presence in Russia is undesirable, and Russians suspected of extremism, would be unable to establish or be members of religious organisations.

    Changes apply to Article 9 of the aforementioned federal law. People, whose actions were qualified by a court as extremist or falling under the law on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism would also be affected.

    For experts cited by the daily Kommersant, the amendments are aimed at so-called alternative religions.

    According to Anatoly Pchelintsev, co-chairman of the Slavic Centre for Law and Justice (SCLJ), the initiative "is not unexpected and follows the lines of a law adopted by the Tatarstan legislature" that allows only Russian citizens to establish religious organisations.

    In Tatarstan's case, it is an attempt to stem foreign-inspired Muslim extremists who recently attacked moderate Muslim leaders, Pchelintsev said.

    According to Alexander Verkhovsky, director of the Sova Center for Information and Analysis (which monitors extremism and racism), the changes to the law on freedom of conscience are part of growing restrictions on citizens' right to assembly and organise.

    Recently, more laws were adopted imposing greater penalties on participating in unauthorised demonstrations as well as greater controls on foreign-funded NGOs.

    Verkhovsky slams the changes because they are aimed at limiting "alternative religions," by preventing them from gaining legal status.

    "People from banned organisations will no longer be allowed to register new ones," he told Kommersant. "The goal is to eliminate them altogether."

     

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    After the Law on NGOs, a draft bill which requires volunteers to sign an agreement with charitable organizations before working in the field. Experts say Kremlin bothered by growing movement.

    03/07/2012 RUSSIA
    Orthodox Church concerned about anti-foreign NGOs bill
    Foreign-funded Russian NGOs involved in political activities must register as foreign agents. Since the Orthodox Church receives funds from its foreign dioceses, it is concerned it might come under closer scrutiny. Failure to register could mean fines and up to four years in jail.

    20/08/2009 RUSSIA
    Religion is back in Russian schools, but under the aegis of the Kremlin
    A new subject will be introduced this year into 12 thousand schools across the Federation: "spiritual and moral formation". By 2012 all Russian schools will have to offer the course that provides the opportunity to study Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism or Buddhism. For religious minorities it is another sign of the alliance between the Kremlin and the Moscow Patriarchate.

    01/10/2004 RUSSIA
    Metropolitan Kondrusiewicz calls for a more representative Inter-religious Council of Russia

    Putin and Aleksij II say country must unite against terrorism and bolster inter-ethnic accord.



    05/08/2016 09:29:00 RUSSIA
    Karelia, Jehovah's Witnesses abused over "extremist" literature

    The faithful of the two communities, Petrozavodsk and Kostomuksha were assaulted, thrown to the ground, beaten. According to the faithful the incriminated material was "planted" by police to close down community.





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